Iverson Nets 47, 76ers Surge Past Wizards
Philadelphia 119, Washington 113
PHILADELPHIA, March 3 (Ticker) -- When Allen Iverson finally slowed down, Chris Webber picked him up.
Iverson had 47 points and 12 assists and Webber scored the last seven points for the Philadelphia 76ers, who hurdled the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference standings with a 119-113 victory.
"That is big because we didn't just want to settle for being in the eighth spot," Iverson said. "We are trying as hard as we can to win our division. We don't want to settle for anything less. We have a great opportunity to win our division and if we keep playing the way we are playing now, and putting two halves together, then we will be all right."
"It's a case of starting over," Webber said. "When you get a second chance, you just try to take advantage of it. We could be 10 games above where we are. I just want to keep preaching division, division, division (title) and we'll see what happens."
For 3 1/2 quarters, Iverson was simply spectacular. Without taking a rest, he made 17-of-28 shots and 11-of-12 free throws and used his quickness to repeatedly set up teammates for easy buckets.
Coming off a 40-point, 10-assist game Wednesday at Houston, Iverson became the first player with back-to-back 40-10 games since Denver's Michael Adams did it in January 1991.
"My shot felt good from the beginning of the game to the end," Iverson said. "As for the assists, when guys are helping on me, my teammates were getting open. When the Wizards were not doubling, they were still getting themselves into open spots. They were hitting shots."
Iverson appeared to be headed for 50 when his lane jumper gave Philadelphia a 106-101 lead with 5:49 to go. But he did not score again, missing his last two shots.
A jumper by Webber extended the margin to 110-102 with 4:29 left before the Wizards rallied behind Gilbert Arenas. He scored nine of his 33 points in a 2 1/2-minute flurry, including a 3-pointer to answer Webber's jumper and pull Washington within 114-113 with 1:30 left.
The Wizards had a chance to take the lead, but Antawn Jamison missed a pair of inside shots. Webber rebounded and was fouled, sinking both free throws for a three-point lead with 55 seconds remaining.
"I just thought we had the juice going from the middle of the third (quarter) all the way down," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "I let my guys go out and play and they had good looks. They just couldn't convert."
Arenas missed a driving layup and Jamison missed a 3-pointer before Webber stormed down the lane for a clinching three-point play with 14 seconds left.
"It was a case where they had to pick their poison," Webber said. "I heard them argue about what to do against us. Allen and I have been playing well lately. They have been talking this the last year and a half. We're glad that we played well tonight."
Andre Iguodala scored 19 points and Kyle Korver added 10 off the bench for the Sixers, who beat the Wizards for the first time in three meetings this season.
Jamison had 24 points and 15 rebounds and Caron Butler 18 and 12 for the Wizards, who could not cash in on a 48-34 advantage on the glass. Washington (29-28) has lost three in a row.
"We always say that one win can get you going and that one loss can get you going the other way," Jordan said. "We just have to shift into another gear like we did in the last quarter and a half and come at with the same intensity and stay at that intensity."
Butler left in the final minute with a right ankle injury and is listed as day to day.
Iverson has 72 career 40-point games, including 13 this season. Philadelphia is 8-5 in those games.
The Sixers led at all the breaks, taking an 88-86 advantage into the final period. A spectacular hesitation move by Iverson put Antonio Daniels on his backside, brought Philadelphia's reserves out of their seats and gave the Sixers a 95-90 lead with 10:11 left.
"We are putting ourselves in a position to win," Iverson said. "We are giving ourselves a chance every night. Just playing well defensively, we feel like every night we can score 100 points, but we have to stop people."
Arenas responded with six points in 40 seconds to give the Wizards the lead. But a dunk and jumper by Webber gave the Sixers the lead for good at 99-96 with 8:42 to go.